- RUWMOneSmallThing – The elections are coming; the elections are coming! So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to use this handy tool from Indivisible to check to make sure you are registered and to register if you aren’t. Then, whenever you are at a gathering, take out your phone, pull up this link (that you will have bookmarked) and ask each of them to check their registration status and register if they aren’t already. Lastly remind them to put our primary date (Sept 4th) and the midterm election date (Nov 6th) on their calendars! You can also print and hand out these forms.
- Sign this petition from the ACLU – to stop the government from abusing immigrant children. The ACLU has uncovered tens of thousands of pages of evidence documenting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials physically, sexually, and verbally abusing children. The majority of these children are asylum seekers fleeing violence in Mexico and Central America. Some are teenage mothers. Some are escaping gang violence. Some are in need of medical attention. All of them have risked their lives to find safety – and tragically, CBP has shattered that dream for so many. Read the details and sign the petition here.
- Tell your senators to block Trump’s supreme court nomination –
Wall-of-Us notes: Two years ago, Senators Chuck Grassley, now-chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Republican Senate stole a Supreme Court seat by blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Two years ago, we didn’t have a President that was under investigation for obstruction of justice and collusion with a foreign government. Following the McConnell Rule and common sense, the Senate shouldn’t confirm a successor for Kennedy until the new Senate is in place, AND Trump is cleared of all charges.
Indivisible adds: Each and every pick on Trump’s list is an extremist who would dismantle our health care and the right to choose. We don’t need to wait to hear who the nominee is—Trump has already put out a list he will choose from, and the entire list is unacceptable.
So, it’s time to call our senators and tell them to commit immediately to opposing anyone that Trump nominates from his short list and to table any confirmation until the new senate is in place and Trump is no longer under investigation. Senator Edward J. Markey (202) 224-2742, Senator Elizabeth Warren (202) 224-4543.
Here is a sample call script:
Caller: Hello! My name is ___ and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you please tell me what Senator ___ plans to do about the Supreme Court vacancy?
Staffer: Hello, nice to talk with you! The Senator plans to vote against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. The stakes are too high.
Caller: Thank you! I’m very glad to hear that. Too much hangs in the balance to let Trump fill this seat with someone from his list of totally unqualified, extreme judges. That includes a woman’s right to choose, the Affordable Care Act, and marriage equality. I want Senator ___ to use every tool at his/her disposal to stop Trump from filling this vacancy with anyone on this list. We also need the senator to make sure to delay any confirmation until after the November elections and only if/when Trump is cleared of charges.
Staffer: Thank you, the Senator agrees with you. I’ll make sure they get your message.
- Tell Northeastern University to drop its contract with ICE – The US government is tearing families apart. Children have been kept in cages. There is more evidence every day that ICE is engaged in widespread human rights violations. And Northeastern University is helping them. Northeastern has a multi-million dollar contract with ICE developing “Exploratory Methods Mapping” (EMM) technology. The university claims the program is related to weapons trafficking, but these data analysis techniques could just as easily be used to expand mass surveillance of immigrants and communities of color. Having any kind of contract with ICE at this moment in history is irresponsible and immoral. Please sign and share this petition to tell Northeastern to stop helping ICE violate human rights.
- Put together and mail a medical kit – From our friends at Greylock Together: Last night a busload came in to the respite center from the detention center. There were roughly a couple of dozen toddlers/babies under the age of 18 months with untreated chicken pox. One baby had to be taken to the hospital. The incubation period for chicken pox is two weeks and remains contagious for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks after the blisters first appear, so that gives you an idea of how long people are being held. Remember – these are the lucky ones. We think of chicken pox as a harmless childhood illness, but to a child who is already dehydrated and fatigued, permanent heart damage, encephalitis, organ damage, and death can occur. Staph and Strep bacteria can infect the blisters – in an enclosed environment with no medical treatment, staph and strep can be deadly. Medical supplies are running short at the respite center. If you like to take a more involved, proactive role, put together a health kit with: Pedialyte, Infant Advil, Infant Cough syrup, Children’s Benadryl, Children’s Tylenol, Infant’s Tylenol, Hand Sanitizer, Exam gloves, and ship it to: Catholic Charities, 1719 Beaumont, McAllen TX. 78501.
- Pledge to Uphold Dignity and Respect for Our Transgender Neighbors in Massachusetts – From Freedom for All, Massachusetts: In November, Massachusetts will vote for respect and dignity. Here’s what you need to know. On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will face the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores, and doctors’ offices. A “yes” vote keeps the current law as it is. You can sign this pledge to say you stand with the majority of Bay Staters who support explicitly protecting transgender people from discrimination in public spaces like restaurants, hotels and hospitals. Discrimination has no place in Massachusetts and I commit to voting YES this November to ensure transgender people are treated fairly and equally under the laws of our Commonwealth.
- Protect Reproductive Rights in MA – Did you know that there are still laws on the books right here in Massachusetts that include an 1800s ban on all abortions, a state requirement that all non-emergent abortions after the twelfth week of pregnancy be performed in a hospital, and a ban on contraception use for unmarried couples? These haven’t been removed because Roe v. Wade provided Federal-level protection, but now, with Justice Kennedy retiring, all bets are off. Let’s be safe, not sorry, and help Senator Harriette Chandler get her “NASTY Women” Act (S2260) passed so we can repeal these ridiculous laws and keep our state safe for women. Click here for details and script!
- Act on these most important climate actions of the year – Last month, the MA State Senate unanimously passed a fantastic bill that would (among other things) price carbon, divest the pension fund from coal, triple the rate of increase of renewable energy generation within Massachusetts, set binding interim caps for our climate pollution, and codify environmental justice into law. Yet the MA State House is now considering their own legislation that is shaping up to be less ambitious. With the legislative session ending July 31, we have a handful of weeks to motivate action, and we need your help to push them to do what the times demand. Specifically, we are calling for: Tripling the Renewable Portfolio Standard, Opening up solar to low-income residents, Banning the Pipeline Tax, Codifying environmental justice into law, Setting binding emissions caps for 2030 and 2040. Here’s our game plan: this is a great opportunity to step up and act!
- Get our reps to pledge their support. Call your representative and ask them to take the Mass Power Forward policy pledge (Don’t know who your Rep is? – click here.) Please call now or mark in your calendar when you will call in the next 24 hours. Once you do call, log it here.
- Flood the State House with phone calls. We are going to generate multiple call storms over the course of the next month. We need you to contribute to those call waves, so sign up here. We will provide everything you need in the exact moment.
- Tell Your State Senator to Support Automatic Voter Registration – Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) recently cleared a crucial hurdle: it was approved by the Massachusetts House with a bipartisan vote of 130-20. This was a major feat, but our work isn’t over yet. The Senate is expected to bring the bill to the floor as early as this Wednesday. That means that over the next two days, we need to tell every Senator on Beacon Hill to vote in favor of AVR and support more inclusive, accurate, and secure elections in the Commonwealth. Use this link to send a message to your Senator.
- Help Support RiseUpWesternMass Indivisible – If you are able to contribute financially to help support RUWMI. We are completely volunteer run and self-funded to date. Your donation will support the direct costs of our organizing in the greater Springfield area — things like meeting room rental, posters, art supplies, clipboards, transportation, and more! Any amount is appreciated and you can donate via ActBlue here.
- Help us reach more people – Facebook determines what you see in your news feed. That means people are likely to miss a lot of posts they might really want to see; such as the action items and events. Fortunately, we have this newsletter to communicate this important information. Unfortunately, only a fraction of those on our Facebook page, receive our newsletter. We want to add 100 people to our newsletter mailing list this summer. We know that in order to make a larger impact we need to get it into as many inboxes as possible! So, can you forward this too three friends? At the bottom of the email there is a link to click to sign up on their own.